How God Used Basketball

Last night, we went to two basketball games. One, a middle school game, the other a high school game. The Lord used these games to help my heart, mind, and soul be rekindled about life:

1. Life isn’t always fair, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t play fair.

Just because the ref calls or doesn’t call the shot or foul doesn’t mean that you stop playing the game. Just because life throws you a call you don’t like doesn’t mean you stop living life.

Remember that saying, “when life throws you a lemon…come on say it with me, MAKE LEMONADE!”

We get so caught up with the ref’s in life that we miss out on life, on the blessings of life — on the blesser of life, our Lord Jesus Christ.

John 10:10 says, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

That lemon will come, that ref will come, that thief will come…but Jesus, He has already come that we would have LIFE.

OH, but wait, not just life….that we might have life more abundantly.

Life is not fair, sadly. We live in a sin-filled world and it will not stop until we reach Heaven. So be prepared, the lemons of life, the refs of life, the thieves of life, are coming — but Jesus has already come — He already won! He already conquered life itself for us. And as His child, you are already on His winning team!

  • The question is, will you allow the lemons, the refs, and thieves control you or will you allow Jesus Christ to take the reigns of control and lead you to victory? The choice is yours.

2. The battlefield of the mind is real, strong, and alive. The devil uses it for his advantage. In 1 Peter 5:8 we are told, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”

We are our worst enemy. If you don’t think so, you are deceived. The devil knows this about mankind and uses it against us.

  • Our minds are a battlefield. A battlefield of thoughts (intellect), emotion, and will –are we not created in the image of God?

I saw this happen last night. These boys are awesome basketball players. They know how to play the game. They know the rules, the moves, the positions. They are slick, smooth, and right on. They know the game –did you read me, they know the game!

They have great coaches, but last night, there was a battle in the mind, emotions, and will.

  • Battle of missed shots.
  • Battle of lost plays.
  • Battle of missed calls.
  • Battle of wronged calls.
  • Battle of wrong thinking.
  • Battles…

Honestly, hear me out, it was even hard for me to watch and I don’t have a son that plays in those divisions. Yet these young men played hard, they fought the fight of the game, and they finished even though their flesh wasn’t happy with the outcome.

Why? Because it matters how you finish.

In 2 Timothy 4:7 it says, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:” Basketball is not a spiritual matter but your testimony playing basketball is, integrity playing is, keeping Christlike character above the flesh is…

Matthew says, …”Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful…”

I stand proud of those young men and their coaches, but more importantly we desire the approval of our Heavenly Father above all else.

  • The question we should be asking ourselves is this: who am I allowing to control me? Someone or something will. Our worst enemy is ourselves. The battlefield of the mind starts with self. Who’s it gonna be? God, self, or other?

The winning team chooses God! Hands down.

Whether we “feel” like we won or not, to choose God over anything else is choosing to win. God never loses.

The choice is yours.

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Dedicated to the teams of young men that have touched my heart in ways I am eternally thankful for. May you look to Jesus and serve Him all your days. Jesus is worth your life! He died you yours. Matthew 6:33

Power of the Thought

Our thoughts matter.

  • I’ve been doing much thought-searching lately. The deeper the dig goes, the more Scripture that is unfolded, the more revealing the revelation becomes…our thoughts are incredibly powerful.
  • Sure, most of us would agree, this is no new grand discovery. But do we stop ourselves and take the time to think of the repercussions of even one thought we allow ourselves to dwell upon? Oh, those ‘good’ ones are easy, but what about the ‘wrong’ ones we let slip out and then we justify by saying things like “We are having a bad day” or “I’m tired or stressed out right now.” Does this stand before our righteous and holy God? You know what excuses you use.

What we think, no, what we choose to dwell on will determine what we become. This is not “think happy thoughts and happy things will happen” but rather the holding captive thoughts that are toxic in form {ungodly} rather than focusing {which is a personal choice} our thoughts on God’s Truth and choosing to cling onto God’s Truth then live those Truths out which produce God-honoring-pleasing thoughts.

  • Today, why not begin to replace your toxic, sinful thoughts with the only Truth that can set you truly free and bring true freedom (John 8:32).
  • What toxic thoughts negativity affect your life and relationships?
  • Choose to replace them with God’s Truth – it’s worth it!

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Reblogging 11.02.18 from the original post dated July 12, 2017; Colleen Woodruff; inchristiamshe.com

“Where is Your Faith?”

Have you ever been fearful?

The kind of fearful that grabs the very core of your being so hard that you found yourself paralyzed which in return begins a series of after-effects that causes you to doubt your faith?

As a believer in Jesus Christ there tends to be a taboo, if you will – I like to call it a lack of honesty to self and with others, where one doesn’t discuss or share such matters. Sadly, we place more importance on what other’s think, what we think,, rather than being consumed with God thinks.

Please do not miss understand me, too live by faith and not by sight, trust and obey our gracious and glorious God, and live out our faith without waver is truly this girls desire, but more importantly God’s desire for each one of us. God in His mercy is so incredibly good to us for we do not deserve His mercies. We are consumed by His goodness, but let’s be finite honest here:

Have you not been fear-gripped to your soul in the midst of a storm?

You, I, and others (whether owned up to it or not) have at one point had their faith challenged or stretched to new levels; their faith wavered to some extent; struggled during a trial where we might have asked, “Lord what are you doing?” or may have even uttered the word, “Why” (yes, I wrote it!) because we don’t understand yet truly want too. God knows you better than you know you. God knows me better than I know me.

Let’s live in the land of God-Truth over façade.  

When you live in an area that is prone to horrific weather, you built safeguards. Your home is built on a firm foundation, and you have a plan. It is just the standard of life and no one questions your motives in planning, organizing or building. The risk is possible. The storm may come. You take action. You prepare. Your life, the life of your family depends on it.

I have been God-challenged yet extremely God-rebuked in the area of my personal foundation building on/in my Savior. Over the past year and a half, my foundation has been shakened, challenged to measures I knew not of, confused, fearful, doubtful, scary, yet it has seen the hand of God rebuild in me foundations on Christ through His conferring and solidifying wondering working power. I know it sounds crazy, it has been a whirlwind that has not been easy.

(pause moment) As a family, we look back and could tell you numerous ways how we have seen the very hand of God work miracles in our lives through His blessings, trials, and testing’s that truthfully make our heads spin (to God’s glory!!), but this storm…ummm, this storm has rocked my boat in more ways than I ever before.

Our Christ foundation is one that stands the test of time for He IS faithful. It is one that is built firmly on the Word of God for His Word is Truth and will not lead nor direct in any wrong way – He is trustworthy. God hasn’t changed.

As we have been in this lengthy storm, I have questioned my soul’s preparation. It is so easy to spit the words out in the good times that we trust God; it is so easy to trust and thank God when we get what we want, but when the desires of your heart turn to hope that is sickened, despaired, sorrow-filled, and there ‘seems’ to be no end in sight of relief, that stirs your soul in ways that are hard to swallow sometime. But should that change our trust and thanks to God? Should it look different? Should it be given differently? No, it shouldn’t. He is still the same God!

I think back to before this storm began and wonder, “Did I safeguard?” knowing full well that storms will come.

  • Do we spiritually plan?
  • Do we spiritually strategies, seek, and prepare for that storm like we would if we lived in “that” part of the country?

It is inevitable, the storms of life will come. It is easy to say that you are unshakable when all is well.

Maybe you are in one, just like I am!

So, what do we do?

  • In Luke 8, Jesus said, “Let’s go over to the other side.” So, Jesus is out on a boat with His disciples on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus decides to take a nap – some R & R time from one side to the next. Suddenly, without warning, a huge storm takes over the sea, water begins to fill their boat. The threat, within each disciple fear begins to take hold for the storm is pulling them under and sinking their boat. Remember what Jesus is doing? Napping. I find this so interesting. Here Jesus is at complete peace while the disciples are in complete fear for their lives – a storm to test their faith.

There were no meteorologists warning them of a storm, and frankly, were there any warning signs in the sky that day that the disciples saw to prepare them before setting sail? I don’t think so, we are talking about experienced fishermen on a lake that they knew all too well!

In 2004, my husband and I had the incredible privilege to go to Israel. The trip of a lifetime and one I would take again in a heartbeat. One of those days we were there we got to sail on a boat across the Sea of Galilee, the very same place where Jesus and His disciples sailed. The same sea that Jesus calmed (very humbling!). Before sailing on the Sea of Galilee, I had my ideas of what the Sea of Galilee looked like but to my surprise it is quite small. You can see from one side to the other.

This confirms, this storm really did catch these men off guard because they wouldn’t have sailed out had it been bad weather.

“Where’s your faith?”, Jesus asked them when they woke him up trembling with fear. Ouch! I don’t know about you, but this grips the core of my heart!

  • We too are often asked this very question by our Lord, “Where’s your faith?”.
  • Have you not heard Him whispered this very phrase in your ear and heart?

We walk this life – no, we all too often own this life as if it were our own. We enjoy the countless God-blessings He gives (we don’t reject those), then question God when a storm comes. When that “BAM” hits. Out of nowhere something rips into our faith – something that rips our faith away or challenges it to levels we never knew existed –and we say, “Lord, I cannot handle this!” “Is this a dream…am I in the twilight zone?” “Rescue me, Lord!” and Jesus replies, “Where’s your faith?”.

Where is my faith when this storm hit?

  • I haven’t prepared.

  • I didn’t prepare.

Are you thinking – wow, where is the love of God in all this? Colleen, you are being too harsh on yourself. No, my friend, it is not about me, none of this is about me. This is the hand of God working in this soul’s heart showing me that I am so SO incapable without Him and HE IS GOD!

{{{the story isn’t finished}}}

God’s love is woven before, in, and through each storm we have gone through, are going through, and will ever go through as His child – Jeremiah 31:3; Matthew 28:20.

Luke 8 (NASB).

[22] Now on one of those (love this – one of those days…) days Jesus and His disciples got into a boat, and He said to them, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they launched out (no questions asked; no worries). [23] But as they were sailing along He (Jesus) fell asleep; and a fierce gale of wind descended on the lake (Sea of Galilee), and they began to be swamped and to be in danger. [24] They (the disciples) came to Jesus and woke Him up, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And He (Jesus) got up and rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they stopped, and it became calm (that same power, that same authority – is the same yesterday, today and FOREVER!). [25] And He (Jesus) said to them, “Where is your faith?” They (the disciples) were fearful and amazed, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?”

There is only one way through the storm of life:

  • Standing firm the Word of God – His Word is Truth!

  • Standing firm in the beautiful Truth that Christ has already conquered them all – the victory is already won!

  • We can stand fearless in our storms even when we humanly ‘feel’ like we are unable because of Christ in us!

What a comfort!

  • There is a decision that must be made on the part of each individual – I will stand firm of the TRUTH of GOD’S WORD alone or I will not!

  • The same Jesus that calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee is the SAME Jesus! That same power, that same authority is the same yesterday (for the disciples), today (for us) and forever (for all)!

where is your faith

In Christ I Am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

 

 

Power of the Thought

Our thoughts matter.

  • I’ve been doing much thought-searching lately. The deeper the dig goes, the more Scripture that is unfolded, the more revealing the revelation becomes…our thoughts are incredibly powerful. 
  • Sure, most of us would agree, this is no new grand discovery. But do we stop ourselves and take the time to think of the repercussions of even one thought we allow ourselves to dwell upon? Oh those ‘good’ ones are easy, but what about the ‘wrong’ ones we let slip out and then we justify by saying things like “We are having a bad day” or “I’m tired or stressed out right now.” Does this stand before our righteous and holy God? You know what excuses you use.

What we think, no, what we choose to dwell on will determine what we become. This is not “think happy thoughts and happy things will happen” but rather the holding captive thoughts that are toxic in form {ungodly} rather than focusing {which is a personal choice} our thoughts on God’s Truth and choosing to cling onto God’s Truth then live those Truths out which produce God-honoring-pleasing thoughts.

  • Today, why not begin to replace your toxic, sinful thoughts with the only Truth that can set you truly free and bring true freedom (John 8:32). 
  • What toxic thoughts negativity affect your life and relationships?
  • Choose to replace them with God’s Truth – it’s worth it!